For Pastor Michael Bynum, the choice to pursue a career in ministry was fairly cut and dried.
“The simple answer is, I answered God's call,” he said.
Beginning this Sunday, he will continue to follow his calling by delivering his message to the congregation of the Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church (LHUMC) as he takes over as pastor.
After Reverend David Shank retired after 19 years as pastor of the church, Pastor Bynum was appointed to lead LHUMC, following the faith’s unique method of clergy assignment. In the Methodist religion, individual churches are appointed clergy members, rather than hiring anyone on their own.
“The bishop and bishop's cabinet determine the need of a church and the gifts of available pastors,” said Bynum. “Through a process of prayer, discernment and conversation, a candidate is appointed.”
Bynum is a second-career pastor, having spent more than 20 years as a construction manager in the Baltimore/Washington area prior to taking a role in ministry in 2006. Since 2007, Bynum has served three churches and has used his passion for teaching youth, building communities and inspiring others to talk about the word of God.
Along with serving on the board of directors of the Interfaith Service Coalition — an organization that serves the needy in the Hancock, Maryland, area, and Camp Joy — a youth camp that provides repairs and maintenance to communities — Bynum also works with a local youth drama team.
His love of interacting with others and his dedication to teaching the Christian faith are part of why LHUMC believes he was chosen to inherit the pastoral role.
“Not only were his talents accessed and determined to be of value to our needs, but we believe that spiritually, Pastor Bynum was chosen to lead us in our quest to spread the word beyond our walls and into the community,” said Martin Carter, staff parish relations committee co-chair of LHUMC. “Pastor Bynum represents the opportunity to learn from a different source. He brings a different set of skills to challenge today's many concerns.”
Bynum married his wife, Anne, in 2004 and between them, the two have seven children. They are the grandparents of six and will welcome a new family member when their youngest becomes married in October.
While striving to inspire those in the LHUMC congregation to grow in faith and works, Bynum also hopes to “introduce God’s love in new and exciting ways,” as well as become a part of the community.
“I'm excited about the opportunity to meet and work with new people in sharing God's love, getting to know and working with the youth of LHUMC and beyond, and just generally getting to know a new community,” he said. “I embrace change and the opportunity it brings.”
Bynum will lead a combined worship service on Sunday, July 1, at 10 am at the church and a picnic is scheduled for Sunday, July 8, to introduce the new pastor.
“We welcome anyone in our surrounding community who is looking for affirmation, redemption or fulfillment, to join us in this new beginning with Pastor Bynum and LHUMC,” said Carter.
The annual Pumphrey Day will take place on August 4 at the Lloyd Keaser Center, located at 5757 Belle Grove Rd., in Pumphrey.
This family-friendly community celebration began in 1973, when local Lloyd Keaser won the Olympic gold medal in wrestling. Since then, residents come together each year to reconnect with family, friends and neighbors with food, fun and dance.
New this year, the Tax Payer’s Improvement Association will sponsor a 5K, instead of its traditional parade, which will begin at 8 am and will follow a course that starts at Bingo World and ends at the center.
Sponsorship opportunities are available and donations of water, healthy snacks and other non-perishable food items are sought for distribution during the event.
The market accepts cash, credit, debit, SNAP/EBT, WIC-FVC and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. WIC and FMCP coupon distribution will take place at the market each week. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags. Contact Jodi Risse at (410) 222-5900 for more information.